Coast Guard searching for man who fell from cruise ship off Florida coast

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 10:05 AM CDT|Updated: May. 30, 2023 at 4:20 PM CDT

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday that it’s searching for a man who fell from a cruise ship off the coast of Florida.

The 35-year-old passenger fell from the Carnival Magic ship about 185 miles east of Jacksonville on Monday, the service said in a statement. The Coast Guard is searching from the air and water.

The Coast Guard said it had spent nearly 20 hours searching more than 4,000 square miles by Tuesday afternoon. The search by air was scheduled to pause at sunset, while ships would continue looking for the man through Tuesday night.

Family members identified 35-year-old Ronnie Peale Jr. as the man who went overboard on a...
Family members identified 35-year-old Ronnie Peale Jr. as the man who went overboard on a Carnival Cruise ship. He was on the cruise with his partner to celebrate her birthday.(Source: Jennilyn Blosser via CNN)

The man’s companion reported him missing late Monday afternoon, the statement said. Security footage on the ship shows that the man “leaned over the railing of his stateroom balcony and dropped into the water” around 4 a.m., according to the statement.

Carnival said the Coast Guard released the ship from search efforts and told the captain to head back to port in Norfolk, Virginia. The ship can hold nearly 4,000 guests and is about 1,000 feet long.